Info Sought: E Howard Pendulum Electric circa 1930

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by MIkeBoston, Mar 25, 2016.

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  1. MIkeBoston

    MIkeBoston New Member

    Mar 19, 2016
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    I am restoring an E Howard master-slave clock system circa 1930. I have not yet been able to access the interior of the master clock (because the key to the door is lost). I am trying to identify the model number and gather information on the principal of operation. I am familiar with the Synchronome and Gents clocks (the impulse method of pendulum maintenance, signals to the slave dial, etc) and wonder E Howard used the same or a similar technique. I have uploaded an image of the clock; dimensions are: 59"h x 20"w x 9"d. Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. MQ32shooter

    MQ32shooter Registered User
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    Jul 7, 2008
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    Garland, Texas
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    Beautiful timepiece Mike. I can't help you on this, but there are several electric guys on here that are a wealth of knowledge.
     
  3. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    Welcome to the Message Board MikeBoston.

    You ask about the impulse method of pendulum maintenance, signals to the slave dial of your E. Howard master clock which bears no similarity in operating principles when compared to the English made Synchronome and Gent's of Leicester master-slave systems.

    Your E. Howard appears from the photos to be a #89. The #89 was produced from about 1900 and discontinued after about 1930 The master/slave systems developed in the US are impulsed every 60 seconds using very low current DC brief electrical impulses.

    Many US made clock cases used "cabinet locks" made by Corbin.
     
  4. neighmond

    neighmond Registered User

    Jan 31, 2003
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    Rural Iowa
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    Pretty looking master! It looks like a wind key to the right just below the dial, or maybe a slave advance.

    There was a bank an hour from here that had an E. Howard system, and it had a master in the Lobby that ran a dial on the front of the building, one in the board room, and a few here and there throughout the building. There was a contact on the scape wheel arbour that made from about fifty-eight to zero seconds, and closed a relay that allowed the slaves to advance. The street dial had its own relay, and the rest had another for all of them. There was an old battery charger in the basement that they weren't using, and the people who last did anything with it made a real nice battery eliminator that lived in the closet with the telephone server and fire alarm business that used a transformer and rectifier and some capacitors; it was a beautiful job. The master and most of the slaves were from the early 1900's-the building was built in 1904. The street dial had a newer movement, something from the seventies if I remember right. It wasn't E. Howard but it played well off of the old system.

    As I recall the winding magnets on the master and indoor slaves were three volts each, and the whole string of them was in series to make a 12 volt circuit, and the street dial was 12 volts on its own. Each branch had its own fuse that looked like an old glass automobile fuse, and they were on a slate board with the relays, in the closet where the power supply was. If not as old as the master clock, they were certainly tenured-they were all that green cloth wrapped wire, whereas the power supply that someone made was modern black wire.

    The whole business was minute impulse, no hourly supervision, and looked a lot like a Standard Electric setup.
     
  5. MIkeBoston

    MIkeBoston New Member

    Mar 19, 2016
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    In the interest of brevity, I did not provide the whole story. This master-slave clock (see beautiful 4'x6' slave-see attached) is located on the Crane Estate in Ipswich MA. The slave clock is in a reception "gallery" on the first floor of the mansion (the master is in the basement!).
    Can anyone refer me to more literature on this design of clock/slave? I gather from looking at some of the Standard Electric descriptions (at clockhistory.com) that many clocks were marked with the required voltage/current and that the "industry standard" for driving voltages evolved over time. Once I gain access to the interior of the master clock, I may know more. The Crane installation has a (now defunct) battery charging set-up which I have yet to reverse engineer but the presence of a 0-15 voltmeter is a hint that there was a 12 volt supply. Thanks in advance.
     

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